It wasn’t me officer, it was the secretary

By Susan | Comments: 12 | April 23, 2014

Sew Dolly Clackett is a phenomenon!

Now we all agree that Roisin has incredible style and how awesome is it that everyone has been able to jump in the deep end and wear everything from shellfish to tea cups in glorious waisted dresses with big swishy skirts.

I have to admit I was on the fence about joining in, didn’t want to crash the party as I don’t know Roisin in real life. Thankfully on a trip to Cabramatta the wonderful Sydney Sewists practically slapped me silly if I didn’t join in and they even found the amazing fabric.

But first the dress.

Simplicity 1873 is a style I have made before and I had planned to do the sleeved version for this make. At the cutting stage I decided that there was no way the slippery fabric would behave well enough to deal with sleeves so the sleeveless version was the only choice.

I cut a straight size 14 except I added in heaps of extra fabric into the skirt. The back skirt is basically twice the width it should be and I doubled the front skirt panel too. This adds plenty of swishing possibilities but was slightly tricky to figure out all the pleating with the slippery fabric.

I had planned to move the centre back zip to the side seam but then it didn’t fit? So I moved the zip back again and did an exposed zip to make up for the fact I had just slit the centre back panel. I usually make this style in a cotton and the sizing works but in this rayon cotton blend it was just not working at all. I had to shuffle some seam allowance around and nip some darts but nothing major. Honestly if I hadn’t left the make to the last minute I’m sure it would have all been fine.

Now the fabric (have I mentioned it’s slippery? Am not a fan of slippery fabric) it has a wonderful hand feel and drape it’s just a bit unwilling to stay where you put it and likes to grow in some unusual ways. But all of that is forgiven for this wonderful print.

The secretary koalas are planning their holidays. Tossing their paperwork in the air, leaving the type writers behind and donning flower leis for their exotic destination of the Gold Coast, Darling Harbour or Bondi Beach.

For those unfamiliar with Australia the Gold Coast while it can be nice, is known for hordes of drunken teenagers on a spring break style vacation, Darling Harbour is in Sydney and is essentially a near empty shopping mall with tacky tourist gift shops and Bondi Beach is packed with people it is by far the nicest of the three destinations.

Thrown into this mix of office working koalas desperate for a holiday is a platypus wearing floral pants and saying cooee. It is unclear if the cooee is his “hello ladies” line or not? But I like to think it is.

Oh and the tag line written on the print is the rather nonsensical “Manufactured under the sun, somewhere down there”.

So on that rather cryptic note there is nothing else to say other than congratulations to Roisin and Nic, hope you have a wonderful wedding and have thoroughly enjoyed the few hundred brightly dressed virtual gate rashers to your party.


  • kate0795
    April 23, 2014

    I love this dress., and the shoes are a definite ‘homage’ to Roisin! Incredibly cute and fun loving print too. I know what you mean about slippery fabric…I love the feel and drape but I’m not experienced enough yet I don’t feel, to tackle the slippery stuff! Kate x @thepolkadotroom

    • Susan Goodwin
      April 24, 2014

      It actually turned out pretty well, considering that earlier in the day I was most definitely not feeling it was going well. The shoes have been a big hit, I should’ve got a side on photo of them as they are the most glorious wedge shape.

  • Kirsty
    April 23, 2014

    So glad you joined in the fun and persisted with that slippery fabric. What a fun dress and oh those shoes!!

    • Susan Goodwin
      April 24, 2014

      I’ll take a cotton over a slippery fabric every time! I sat down after taking the photos and it creased up as well, so that was no fun. The shoes on the other hand are so fun and surprisingly comfortable given their height.

  • velosewer
    April 23, 2014

    So glad you’ve made this dress. The fabric was screaming ‘buy me’.
    Great story too.

    • Susan Goodwin
      April 24, 2014

      Thank you so much for helping convince me to join in, I had so much fun making it. Now seeing all the entries just makes me want to make more fun dresses!

  • Melanie
    April 26, 2014

    Hmmmm, that platypus sounds like a bit of a “player” to me. Great fabric (despite being so slippery that is). The style really suits you…I bet Dolly Clackett would LOVE this dress.

    • Susan Goodwin
      April 27, 2014

      The platypus is all about the “ladies”. I actually really adore this style of dress and have already cut out the version with the sleeve in another fabric!

  • Alex
    April 26, 2014

    That dress is the cutest – and those shoes – oh my!

    • Susan Goodwin
      April 27, 2014

      I do love a good shoe, I figure seeing as how I make all my clothes I can get the fancy shoes!

  • Catherine
    April 30, 2014

    oops! i had this page open in my browser and forgot to comment! I love the Koalas! this is a very perfect Aussie version of a Dolly Clacket! where else in the world would you see such kooky koalas!
    You look lovely in it lady!

    • Susan Goodwin
      April 30, 2014

      aw thank you! despite the slippery fabric or perhaps because of it? its actually lovely to wear though it creases like crazy. The Koalas do make me giggle.

Comments are closed.




Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



Friends and Affiliates

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository